LPN/RN scope of practice question

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    Hi, I've been doing some research on my state BON website about the difference in scope of practice between an LPN and an RN. Nothing I'm reading talks about specific skills however... are LPNs allowed to perform the same skills an RN can? What are the basic differences between the two? Thanks!

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  2. 3 Comments...

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    Quote from retour_divin
    Hi, I've been doing some research on my state BON website about the difference in scope of practice between an LPN and an RN. Nothing I'm reading talks about specific skills however... are LPNs allowed to perform the same skills an RN can? What are the basic differences between the two? Thanks!

    Different states have different nurse practice acts. Several states require an RN to do initital assessments, blood transfusions, IVP meds, and central lines. Some states allow LPN's to do more after taking an IV course. Most states consider the RN the "professional" nurse while the LPN/LVN is a "vocational" nurse. RN's delegate and are independent practioners. I know here in California the BON states the LVN is not an independent practioner. There can be quite a large difference in pay. If you are trying to decide what route to go...go for the RN if you can. If you are needed to get to work sooner, possibly, take an RN course that allows you to sit LPN boards after so may semesters. You could also take an LPN program and work while taking the LPN-RN bridge program. I was an LPN for several years and enjoyed it...unfortunately sometimes it can literally take years to get back to school.
    Missy
  4. 0
    Quote from retour_divin
    Hi, I've been doing some research on my state BON website about the difference in scope of practice between an LPN and an RN. Nothing I'm reading talks about specific skills however... are LPNs allowed to perform the same skills an RN can? What are the basic differences between the two? Thanks!
    Each state handles it differently. Here's 3 states I've worked in as an LPN/LVN who differ widely:

    1. Minnesota: Very vague language in their practice act who basically leave it up to the individual facilities to make up their own rules about what an LPN can do. They will continually and repetitively state what is "common for an LPN" to do in a given setting but this means essentially nothing in an ever changing health care world.
    Often, at least in the Twin Cities area hospitals, this vulnerability makes a lot of room for RN unions to dictate what LPN's are allowed to do.
    The problem here is motivation. RN unions are paranoid about LPN's replacing RN jobs, so they base what LPN's should be allowed to do on this premise, rather than on what an LPN has been trained and/or capable of doing.

    2. Pennsylvania: Very specific and rigid about what particular tasks an LPN can perform, spells it out in plain english for the most part, but states like TX don't want to adopt this method because it most often places big limits on what an LPN can do.

    3. Texas: Has no LVN nurse practice act whatsoever. They have a "title act" that protects the title "LVN" from being used by anyone other than an actual LVN, but no practice act.
    This leaves it open, similar to MN, so an LVN who works at one hospital may be allowed to give IV push morphine, but may work at another hospital that doesn't allows LVN's to push anything.

    Every state is different.
  5. 0
    Have you looked at your state's nurse practice act and practical nursing practice act? Between the two you should be able to piece this together. It would be more helpful to look at the actual wording in the law.


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